When it comes to storing ammo, used ammo cans really are the best. They stack well, take loose or boxed ammo, and provide protection against sun, rain, and humidity.
There are a couple inherent problems with used ammo cans though. First, the paint is usually chipped or worn off. Second, they may not seal that well anymore because dry rot. Third, some are warped from either abuse while in service or abuse while in transit.
Avoiding most of these issues can first be solved at the store. Make sure the can opens and closes easily and that the rubber seal is still in place and has not suffered dry rot. Next, look for the cans with the least damage to their pant as possible. It’s virtually impossible to find one that has its paint perfectly intact, but fixing blemishes is easy.
The paint on an ammo can isn’t just about camouflage – or for that matter being pretty. The paint is primarily a protective coating that keeps the ammo can in useful working order for many years to come. Without the paint, the can would be susceptible to corrosion that would ultimately lead to holes. If an ammo can gets holes, there wasn’t much of a point in inspecting the seal in the first place.
Once you have picked the best candidates out of the pile and thoroughly inspected them, bringing them back up to full condition is relatively easy. Rust-Oleum makes a great line of camouflage spray paints that will restore the protective coating of paint with just a few minutes worth of work. The line comes in: Dark Earth, Khaki, Deep Forest Green, and Foliage Green.
There is no special trick, but do follow the directions on the paint cans and use in a well-ventilated area.
- Layout news paper or cardboard.
- Using medium grit sandpaper, clean any rust spots.
- Wipe the ammo can down with a damp cloth to remove any dirt or derby. Then let dry.
- Hold the spray paint can the recommended distance from the ammo can as listed on the paint can.
- Apply a light coating. Do not try to cover up the spot – or whole ammo can – in one pass.
- Repeat until the damaged area – or whole ammo can – as been covered.
- Pick the color you want for a base layer, secondary layer, and optional third layer.
- Apply the base layer in the manner described above.
- Let the base layer dry for the manufacturer’s recommend amount of time.
- Using your secondary color, hold the paint can half the recommend distance from the ammo can and quickly swipe in a diagonal pattern.
- Once the paint from step four has dried, apply the option third color in the same manner as step #4.